five senses from my world: guerrilla girls, anonymous art activists

Five senses from Guerrilla Girls world, the masked art activists who question cultural institutions we take for granted while exploring diversity in European art organisations. 

Fierce feminist masked avengers,The Guerrilla Girls are a force to be reckoned with. Anonymous activists exposing sexism, racism, and corruption in art, politics and pop culture. Artists and authors of  sky high billboards, stickers, bold banners, posters, street art and several books that command attention. Storming the art world and snatching headlines since 1985 using powerful facts, humour and outrageous visuals. The Guerrilla Girls continue to strip back and reveal the gritty understory, the subtext, the overlooked, and the downright unfair. 


1980s New York moved us to do something.

MOMA had an exhibition with only 13 out of 169 artists being woman – there were even fewer of color. In 1985 85% of the nudes displayed, and 5% of the exhibited artists at MOMA were women. We held a demonstration outside and realized that nobody cared – no matter what we were trying to say. There had to be a way that was more visually savvy to approach the issue so that people couldn’t discount what was happening.


There are so many different strata in the art world.

Artists see us and love us, curators see us and are curious about us. Dealers and art collectors I think wish we would go away. We don’t exist in their strata at all. We’ve bypassed them and jumped you know from the day to day life of collective artists that go into the institutions, and that’s fine by us. Because we don’t produce a product that they can fetishize and turn into a valuable thing.


History is richer that what we are taught.

Maybe collectors are still the exception but dealers and gallerists used to say things like, “Well women and people of color just don't make the kind of work that’s part of the art world dialogue”. No one would be so stupid as to say that anymore. That has changed forever. It’s become quite clear that history is much richer than the art history that we read about in books or see in art galleries. How can you tell the art history of a global culture with only the work of white men. That’s not the real history of art…. that's the history of wealth and power.


Art is an investment.

Super rich collectors open their own museums so they can control them – but they also exert their influence on public institutions, and that never used to be the case. So art has become capitalist investment – we want to ask the larger question, which is “Can you really have a situation [where someone influences a public space] without a conflict of interest.” We wanted to ask the museums the question “Can we allow the system to tell us our history.” If that answer is yes then, “What are the problems with a history that is created by the taste, and the money and the wealth and power, of a few!”


We are not sure what taste is, or if it exists. 

We don't think too much about whether there's such a thing as good taste or bad taste, but there's definitely bad behaviour. 

This Week

picture this

You’ll be familiar with the term ‘male gaze’ – a phrase coined by feminist critic in Laura Mulvey in 1975. And unless you’ve been hiding under a large rock for several decades, you will have certainly come into contact with it: think any  film, photograph, or  TV show that’s made for the male viewer.

But the tide is turning. Be it the internet, accessibility to cameras or simply the introduction of the first front-facing camera (thanks, Apple), a growing number of the photographs we look at on a daily basis are being taken by women. In the last five years, an unprecedented wave of female photographers has taken the art world by storm, grabbing people's attention with their pictures of women (and themselves). This is the central theme of journalist Charlotte Jansen’s new book, Girl on Girl, in which she interviews 40 artists from 17 different countries. The project is pro-women, but that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s solely about feminism. “No one would ever say: ‘oh you’re a man, your work must be comment on masculinity,’” Jansen explains. “Yet it’s almost as if you have to start with that question as a woman. Most women are like: ‘of course I’m a feminist’, that’s obvious, right? But it doesn’t mean everything I do is about that.”

To wit: this isn’t simply about ‘female photography’ (there’s no such thing, Jansen says), but addressing and challenging the ways in which the media write about these women.

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In her own words, Jamila Johnson-Small is interested in dance as a “radical social proposition”. She means this quite literally. And in fact, this quality of “radicality” – a potent combination of power and resoluteness – is palpable in Jamila’s presence, both onstage and in person.

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step behind the scenes of mirror maze and meet es devlin and the other women who make space

Cheryl Dunn's video Making Spaces takes a look behind the scenes at the making of Es Devlin's immersive installation Mirror Maze and features interviews with other innovators of today - learn more about them here. 

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they are a god: beauty is next to godliness

What deems your favourite pop or rock star 'godlike'? Is it their talent, their use of the  transformational tool of beauty products or both? And how much do we consciously or unconsciously attempt to emulate them in our everyday lives? 

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The London Grammar singer takes us by the headphone and guides us through the sensual word of her award-winning creativity.

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five senses from my world: yara pilartz, actress

Five senses from French actress Yara Pilartz world.

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turning pages

Lucy Moore is co-owner of London’s most iconic bookstore, Claire de Rouen, a long-standing source of inspiration for fashion designers, artists and students alike. Here we sit down to chat all things Claire de Rouen and she shares with us five of her favourite books that celebrate female sensuality. 

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anosmia and memory

What happens if you lose your sense of smell and how does this affect your memory?

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the girl with the most cake

Rina Sawayama explores the idea of our online self through her J-pop inspired own brand of RnB, often referencing our place in the digital world, resulting in a surprisingly sensual and personal outpouring.

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